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Bakker Commission proposes retirement age at 67 by 2040

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE — Several proposals by Social Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner to increase participation in the work force failed to gain traction with two of the three coalition partners. Labour and ChristenUnie balked at moves to make it more attractive to continue working past 65. To break the impasse, the cabinet asked chief Bakker of TNT, the Dutch postal services, to study the matter. While the report is not yet finished, this much is clear: he is proposing to raise the retirement age by one month a year starting in 2016. By 2040, the retirement age would then be 67. The Bakker Commission is still considering allowing exceptions for trades with heavy, manual labour. It also proposes to cut back on unemployment benefits. The levensloopregeling, a savings plan to finance unpaid leave, is also getting another look from the commission. It may be extended. Bakker also wants changes so employers can help employees find other work instead of the current cumbersome procedures to lay off or fire workers.